3020 Market Street
Dr. Virginia Smith
June 22, 2013
This needs assessment proposal is intended to describe the problem of relational aggression. Also included in this proposal is a problem statement about relational aggression in public school in the North Philadelphia Region among boys and girl ages 12-17. There are three research questions about the scope, causes and solutions which led to the research of this proposal. Methods used in gathering of the data for the research was implemented; and, also included was how the data was analyzed. This needs assessment proposal is expected to give some information as well as understanding of the problem of relational aggression in public schools in the North Philadelphia Region. Furthermore, the proposal defined solutions to the problem of the research.
The purpose of this research is to determine whether there is a relational aggression problem in public schools in the North Philadelphia Region among boys and girls ages 12-17. The research conducted may support that there are needs for relational aggression programs in schools in the North Philadelphia Region.
It is estimated that 91% of kids 12 to 15 years old and almost all teens (99%) ages 16 to 18 used the internet (Keith & Martin, 2005). This is especially alarming in that most parents are not aware of what their children are doing while they are on the internet. Electronic aggression is now so extensive that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize it as an emergent health risk to students (Borgia & Myers, 2010). In 2000, 1 of 17 children ages 10 to 17 had been threatened or harassed online (Drogin & Young, 2008). Relational aggression is a behavior intended to damage the social status or interpersonal relations of another and encompasses behavior such as threats of friendship withdrawal (Tackett & Ostrov, 2010).
Radliff and Joseph (2011) noted that the most frequently reported forms of relationally aggressive behaviors are teasing, name calling, gossiping, spreading rumors or lies, withdrawing affection, intentionally excluding (leaving out) a peer and threatening to withdraw friendship. It is claimed by Radliff and Joseph (2011) that girls regardless of ethnicity, have been found to engage in relational forms of aggressive acts than boys. Girls have been socialized to behave in nonphysical confrontational manners when they feel the need to release aggressive feelings and manipulate relationships for selfish reasons. For example, girls often use relational form of aggression to obtain popularity or a more influential position within a peer group (e.g. leader or confidant) so that other members are more willing to acquiesce to their needs. Leff, Waasdorp and Crick (2010) observed that over the past few decades there has been a growing recognition that girls and boys express their anger differently, with boys tending to display aggression in physical manner related to dominance, in contrast to girls tending to use relationally manipulative behavior.
Swearer (2008) and Waasdorp et al (2010) stated that much of the literature on relational aggression has focused on girls. However, recent studies indicate that relational aggression impacts boys’ relationships quite frequent as well. In addition to the impact that relational aggression can have on individual, recent studies suggest that it also has an impact on the broader school climate. For example, research has shown that in schools with higher relational aggression, students feel less safe (Goldstein, Young, & Boyd, 2008).
McEachern and Snyder (2011) examined that (1) Boys who engaged in relational aggression would experience more peer rejection than relationally aggressive girls, and girls would be